Surgical Procedures

General Surgery

For many of our clients, the waits for general surgery are lengthy. While orthopedic, oncological, cataract and coronary procedures get all the attention in the media and therefore receive the vast bulk of new infusions of cash into the system, patients who require procedures other than those listed above are the “forgotten patients” in our monopolistic healthcare system. The pain suffered by patients awaiting a hernia repair can be just as severe (or more so) than a patient waiting for a knee replacement, but because a hernia isn’t a “targeted” ailment, they often don’t get the attention they warrant.

In the last 24 months, due to increased resources, being targeting at other types of surgery, the waiting lists for general surgery have significantly increased. Simply click on whichever procedure you are in need of to learn more.

Hernia Repair

  • How quickly can you get me hernia surgery?

    Typically, we can get you surgery within 2-3 weeks from the time we receive your diagnostic package.  In certain cases, we can get a client surgery within 24 hours.  Call or e-mail us to get a accurate quote and timeline for your surgery.

  • What is a hernia and why do I need hernia repair surgery

    A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through an abnormal opening in the body. The most common is an inguinal (groin) hernia, which represents more than 90 percent of hernias that occur. This happens when a small piece of the bowel bulges out through a hole or weakness in the inguinal canal, which is a passage through the muscles of the abdominal wall. As a result, a piece of bowel bulges into the groin. This can occur in both men and women but is much more common in men. Direct inguinal hernias occur when a weak spot develops in the lower abdominal muscles. Indirect inguinal hernias occur when the inguinal canal has failed to close before birth.

    Other types of hernias, which represent less than 1 percent of total hernias include: incisional (relating to a previous surgery), ventral (relating to a defect in the muscles of the abdomen), umbilical (a weakness at the navel), femoral (relating to the blood vessels between the groin and the leg – and more common in women), and hiatal (relating to the diaphragm.)

    You may notice your hernia as a lump or a bulge. Hernias often cause pain and sometimes a feeling of pressure, burning, “gurgling” or weakness. You may notice that the pain or feelings become stronger as you spend time standing or if you do any straining or lifting.

    Some people live with hernias for years. The downside of this is not just the pain, however. Ignoring a hernia increases the risk of what’s called incarceration (the hernia gets stuck where it has protruded) and strangulation (blood supply to the trapped tissue is cut off).

  • Why do I have to wait so long for hernia repair surgery?

    Unless you have a strangulated hernia, which is viewed as an emergency, your hernia repair will be seen as “elective.” As a result of rationing of care by the Canadian public health system and limited operating room times for surgeons, this means your surgery may be delayed and will be subject to being cancelled. Timely Medical Alternatives can help you find a private clinic to expedite your case so you can get the surgery you need as quickly as possible.

  • What are the different hernia repair options for me?

    Open surgery is a common technique for repair of an inguinal hernia. The biggest advantage is that it can usually be done with a local anesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision over the site of the hernia and then returns the protruding tissue to the abdominal area. He or she then repairs the hole or weakness by sewing surrounding muscles over the defect. Alternatively, and more commonly today, the surgeon will simply insert a piece of mesh to cover the area of the defect without sewing together the surrounding muscles.

    In some patients, surgeons may suggest a laparoscopy rather than open surgery for repair of an inguinal hernia. This means the surgeon will perform the hernia repair using a laparoscope – a special and very small camera used to examine the inside of the body. While you are asleep under a general anesthetic, the surgeon makes small incision and using a narrow tube-like instrument known as a cannula, inserts the laparoscope. Then, making several other small incisions, he or she inserts instruments and repairs the hernia. The advantage of a laparoscopy is that it offers a faster recovery time and usually, less pain, however it is not suitable for all patients or hernia types.

    Your surgeon is the best person to help you decide what approach will be best for you.

  • How long will it take me to recover from hernia repair surgery?

    Recovery time will depend on the location and type of hernia and on the nature of your surgery. Following a laparoscopy, it is likely you can return home the same day and the total recovery time is usually one to two weeks. Following an open surgical hernia repair, your total recovery time will likely be four to six weeks. Your surgeon can give you an estimate of anticipated recovery time at the time of your consultation.

  • What can I expect when I'm fully recovered?

    Most hernia repair surgeries are extremely successful. In a small percentage of cases, the hernia will recur and need to be repaired again.

Gallbladder Removal

  • How quickly can you get me gallbladder removal?

    Typically, we can get you surgery within 2-3 weeks from the time we receive your diagnostic package.  In certain cases, we can get a client surgery within 24 hours.  Call or e-mail us to get a accurate quote and timeline for your surgery.

  • Why do I need gallbladder surgery?

    The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is found beneath the right side of your liver. Its main purpose is to collect bile, a liquid produced by the liver. Bile travels through ducts and is then delivered into the small intestine where it helps you digest the fat in your food.

    Some people, however, tend to form gallstones. These are hard, rock-like lumps – varying in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters — and made up of cholesterol, bile salts and calcium. If you have a tendency to form stones, they may gather in your gall bladder and block the flow of bile. This can cause pain, vomiting, indigestion, and occasionally, fever. Some people may also develop jaundice, a yellowing of the skin. Attacks can last from a few minutes to several hours.

    No one understands why some people form gallstones and others don’t, but both family history and hormones are thought to play a role. Women, people who are overweight, anyone with high cholesterol, people with chronic intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and people over 40 are all at higher risk.

     

  • Why don't I need my gallbladder?

    The gallbladder, while helpful, is not necessary. It is a storage and regulating organ. Even without it, your liver will continue to produce bile and deliver it to your small intestine. The gallbladder simply allows the release of extra bile when you’ve eaten a particularly high-fat meal, but your body can adjust to living without it. In rare cases, some people may need to avoid super high-fat meals after gallbladder surgery.

  • Why do I have to wait so long for gallbladder surgery?

    Unless you enter the emergency department with a serious gallbladder attack, gallbladder surgery is viewed as elective and prone to being cancelled. As a result of rationing of care by the Canadian public health system and limited operating room times for surgeons, you may have to wait, particularly if your case is not deemed “urgent.”  Timely Medical Alternatives can help you find a private clinic to expedite your case so you can get appropriate surgery as quickly as possible.

  • What are the different surgical options for me?

    Most commonly today, surgeons perform gallbladder surgery using a laparoscope – a special and very small camera used to examine the inside of the body. While you are asleep under a general anesthetic, the surgeon makes a small incision just below your naval and using a narrow tube-like instrument known as a cannula, inserts the laparoscope. Then, making several other small incisions, the surgeon inserts instruments and removes your gallbladder through one of the openings. The advantage of a laparoscopy is that it is a smaller surgery with a fast recovery time and usually, less pain.

    Some people, however, are not able to have a laparoscopy. If you have a particularly severe inflammation of the gallbladder, an inflammation of the abdominal lining (peritonitis), dense scar tissue, obesity or a bleeding disorder, you may need what’s called “open surgery.” If this occurs, the ultimate procedure is much the same, but the incision is longer (generally five to seven inches) and the surgeon works without the aid of the laparoscope. This is more major surgery and will require longer recovery time.

    Your surgeon will carefully asses your case and decide which surgery makes the most sense for you.

     

  • How long will it take me to recover from gallbladder surgery?

    All patients are likely to have some shoulder pain, lasting up to 72 hours. This is referred pain from the gas used to inflate the abdomen during the surgery. Many people will experience diarrhea and a loss of appetite. If you have a laparoscopy, you will usually be able to go home the same day or within one day and total recovery time will be about a week to 10 days. If you have open surgery you may need to stay in hospital longer. Total recovery time will be four to six weeks. Your surgeon can give you an estimate of anticipated recovery time at the time of your consultation.

     

  • What can I expect when I'm fully recovered?

    Once they have recovered from surgery, most people will discover their gallbladder pain has completely disappeared. Some people may not be able to eat large meals of very rich food without indigestion, however.